SRINAGAR: The University of Kashmir has no record of an investigation carried out by a panel of academics in the accidental death of then controller examination Dr Abrar Khan, in 2004. When Dr Abrar’s son tried to access a copy of the probe report under the Right to Information Act, he was told the record is missing.
And to cap it all, the State Information Commission, has not taken the varsity authorities to task for misinforming it about the non-existence of the probe report and then delaying a reply to the application of the deceased’s son Faizan Khan.
Faizan had vainly tried to get a copy of probe report for eight years. He then filed an RTI application in 2012. He was asked to ‘wait and cooperate’. He finally complained to the first appellate authority and then went to the SIC.
“The KU told the SIC that it has been searching for the report. Later, it said no investigation had been ordered into the death of my father. After these contradictory statements, professor Nisar Ali, who was leading the inquiry and ex-registrars and other university officials wrote to the SIC that an inquiry had been constituted by the KU and nailed the lie,” Faizan told Kashmir Reader.
In subsequent hearings before the SIC, KU officials said the probe report has gone missing.
“Then VC Professor Abdul Wahid Qurashi accepted that the report had been submitted. Mehraj-u-din, the current VC of the Central University, was KU’s registrar when the report was filed. Before the SIC he too agreed the report had been submitted. But later registrars, Zafar Reshi and current registrar professor Musadiq Amin Sahaf said the report was missing,” Faizan said.
The SIC expressed its inability to extract information from the KU, when it said that it was constrained not to issue any direction to the KU for making such information available.
“If all of them accepted report was submitted, the question arises, where has the file gone then? Despite these facts SIC in its final report says that that it did not prove there was any deliberate or malafide attempt by the KU to suppress the information,” he added
The SIC report has observed the report was handed over to the highest authority of the University not in accordance with the standard procedures of record management.
“As the enquiry was conducted under written orders of the Vice Chancellor, the report was also to be handed over in writing after duly diarizing the same and obtaining a receipt,” the report said.
“The then Vice Chancellor should have also ensured that even though he received the report in person in his office chambers, it should have been ensured that it is duly and properly diarized and marked to any concerned authority for taking further necessary action. All these elements in this case are missing.”
However, Faizan said Dr Nisar had provided the dispatch number of the report but KU dismissed it citing reasons that it did not match with its dispatch records.
“I am fighting the case for the past 11 years. I did not get anything. But I will knock at every door to find the cause of my father’s death,” Faizan said.